‘The fever, the ceaseless damn delirium, my goodness it gave me a hell of a hard time today.’ But I made my way back to reality in the end.
‘Hooray says I. Three cheers for me.’ Though somewhat half-hearted cheers they be. Rather unenthusiastic.
‘You see.’ Victory over adversity rather loses its lustre as a prize when that adversity is so ubiquitous, and those victories so commonplace.
‘Sometimes it feels like all that glitters is gone.’ Sometimes it feels like all there is, is the fight. ‘Alright. If that’s how it is.’ If the struggle is all there is then I will strive valiantly.
‘I shall summon my inner doom and grief and grievance driven Boudicca of the ill-fated Iceni.’ I will howl my war cry, I will raise my spear in defiance and bear my shield high, though my chariot ever drives me to my bitter end.
How very theatrical, don’t you think? Oh, the drama of it all. Good grief.
‘To be a mortal being, what a thing indeed.’ To gaze with wondering eyes upon the immensity of the universe.
‘And to let that vast emptiness know the echoes of your song.’ Your story, your ballad. ‘We are all of us the stuff of legend.’ Each individual the very essence of history made.
‘But it’s all just another laurel added to the pile.’ The tooth and nail and razor’s edge qualities of life can weary the heart.
‘Yet still the sun rises and beams ever bright, and night by night the moon glows its wondrously eerie glow of romance and promise.’ The stars shine.
‘Here’s what happened.’ I think.
‘I woke up in the maze this morning.’ The labyrinth. ‘Confusion reigned supreme as the roulette wheel of my identity spun wildly.’ This fever it seems won’t let me be in peace. But that’s just bad luck. That’s all, nothing more.
‘I floated out of bed and my body soon followed.’ I was horribly disoriented, all those internal mechanisms by which one navigates the waking world seemed to be locked in a state of calibration.
‘But I felt my way forwards into reality as I usually do.’ The tried and trusted way which seldom fails. Seldom.
‘I follow familiar paths and let my bare feet remember cold floorboards. I skip the stepping stone path from here to the bathroom.’ I do as you do.
‘I let my hands remember for me. By their function I see through the fever and remember how to be.’ Hot water. Coffee. Cup. Spoon. Oh, yes. Satisfaction. Familiarity and experiential consistency.
‘I know this aroma.’ I know this taste. Gorgeously bitter and strong and black.
‘Happy and gay.’ A gleeful clatter and rattle of stainless steel against porcelain. Magical music if ever there was. I follow the music and sing along in harmony with what is.
‘Sometimes there’s crows in the yard, that’s my favourite.’ There’s always bats at night. That’s my favourite too. ‘I have lots of favourites.’ I do.
‘Let’s try sorcery.’ Shall we?
‘A summoning spell.’ If the body doesn’t ache and shake too much, if it’s not too little or too big or too leaden heavy of feather light. ‘Happy tasks.’
‘Life.’ Cat litter. Dishes. Make things clean. Things are real when you’ve made them clean. You have interacted with them and changed their state. Both you and they too now share the same reality. Both are more than merely observed but instead measured. Probabilities decided and fields collapsed.
‘When I’m the person I like best to be.’ There’s breakfast for my partner and collaborator and co-conspirator. Usually scrambled eggs and cocoa. I like when such miraculous mundanities feature in reality.
‘But today, something went wrong.’ Very, very wrong.
‘Glitch.’ Buffering. Loading. Updating. Spiralling pattern. ‘Update incomplete. Files corrupted.’ Reboot. Rinse and repeat.
‘Following the familiar pathways didn’t work.’ I stumbled or tripped. I fell through a crack in the floor boards and found myself elsewhere.
‘Neither here nor there nor anywhere at all.’ I. No one. ‘No profile.’ My someone or someone else or anyone at all not successfully selected.
‘The roulette wheel of identity kept spinning and spinning.’ The world turned to shadows and deep darkness despite the broad daylight.
‘I found myself trapped in the maze of the fever.’ And I couldn’t find my way out. I couldn’t remember how to be an alive person instead of a ghost.
‘I think I tried once or twice.’ But dead ends I found and nothing more.
‘But then the winds turned to my favour and there right before me was the doorway out.’ Just like that. One moment it was morning and then it was night.
‘The fever made it feel like only two or perhaps three hours had passed.’ But the clock tells a different story. It tells of twelve hours transpired as best I can accurately divine. I suspect more than that but it’s difficult to be sure.
‘You see, this is what happens when you use and abuse and beat and batter and grotesquely violate little children for years and years.’ It breaks their little minds into pieces and that just isn’t nice. That’s not manners. Not at all.
‘But I survived.’ Hooray again say I. ‘I stayed alive.’ I like to think through sheer spite, but that’s just a pose.
‘There’s no nobility in clawing your way along the sanctuary road to asylum.’ No more than there’s any dignity in death.
‘That’s a little morbid don’t you think?’ Perhaps, perhaps not. Perhaps it’s better to look elsewhere.
‘Better not to dwell.’ But the truth is.
‘There was no great escape or dramatic rescue.’ My captor simply grew too useless with alcoholism and drug addiction and various and assorted corruptions to keep me captive anymore.
‘The chains rusted through and the shackles broke.’ One day I tried the cage door and it was unlocked. That’s all.
‘I let myself out.’ I staggered free, horribly injured and bloodied and bruised but free.
‘But the truly happy ending to the story is that I’m not alone.’ Not anymore. I have a family and a home. And although my insides are all wrong for making babies but we have cats.
‘Once upon a time I met someone who changed everything.’ I met someone who could see me. ‘I mean actually see me.’ If you know what I mean.
‘My partner taught me love and care.’ I truly thought life was nothing more than predator and prey. ‘I’d grown so accustomed to being prey I didn’t know any other way to be.’
‘I let the world see nothing of me.’ Just camouflage and disguise.
‘But my partner succeeded where others failed.’ They could see me.
‘I’m so sorry to those others, those true hearts who I hurt. Those who dared the impenetrable walls I had built up around me.’ I am very far from blameless. I own my sins.
‘But my sorrow doesn’t change what was. I wear guilt, and its fits.’ But by this guilt I know what I don’t want for me and my happily forever after, for however long ever after may be.
‘After the storm.’ Calm. Peaceful resolution.
‘Except that its midnight but my body clock says it’s the crack of dawn.’ I suppose I could watch the news and thank my lucky stars I’m here and not there.
‘But be brave.’ It’s all going to be alright until it’s not. Just relax. No one’s coming to hurt me tonight.
Good night and sweet dreams wherever you may be.